Thursday, May 03, 2007
A couple of days ago, when the framers were just finishing their job on the house next door, when the generator that gave their screeching tools power never shut off, when the sound of air nailers left my dogs in a permanent state of neurosis...our roofer showed up.
There was nowhere, now, for the dogs and I to gather our wits, to pursue our normal everyday lives seeking as much peace as possible.
Even when the workers gathered their tools and decamped for the day, the dogs loitered inside, dogging my footsteps, refusing to go outside. I used Rescue Remedy, rubbing drops into the backs of their heads. They quietened; with Spirits inside dampened, they lay about the house, eyes wide open and aware.
But they know and like our roofer, who made it his business to get to know each of our dogs. He was someone who, even if he made noise, was outside...in our yard, and therefore offered protection. The dogs accepted him as their own; especially when a bread crust found its way into Nate's mouth. Lucky, who should by now have not a hair left on his body,due to copious shedding, is still a little wary...food doesn't interest him at the best of times.
The unrelenting noise...the screeching of the saws, the drone of the generator, the sound of the nailer giving continuous shots, the roofer throwing down bundles of shakes, making pictures, lights and everything not tied down vibrate...it's Bedlam here.
My normal quiet day...one that is well-suited to reflection and writing and solitary pursuits, is thrown off-balance. At the end of one day, I could feel my body reflecting the booming sounds it was being subjected to. I was jumpy and ill-at- ease.
I could no longer write for long... even in the far-off world I inhabit when I write... even there the noise found me, throwing off the muse, making her toss her hands in the air, and leave for parts unknown.
And now, in tandem, in a sort of hellish ballet, the hammers ring and thud, banging, banging, banging. In self-defense, I turn gentle, sweet music up high to cover the drone of the generators.
I contemplate putting in a claim for hearing aids, to the builder next door. Surely, his workers must be wearing ear protection, I thought, until I hear Led Zeppelin blasting out of their boom boxes at seven o'clock in the morning... and realize their hearing is already gone... along with their manners.
It's an old neighbourhood where I live, with many pre-war homes and cottages. This big house being built towers over us all, with one window looking down directly into my back garden.
There will be little privacy, if the new owners happen to be a tad nosy!
But the high roof line gives balance to Grandfather Tree; he no longer looks lost, a lone Tree reaching for the clouds. This big house being built gives even more presence to Grandfather.
I decide if I am living in Bedlam, I must adapt. The noise is tiring; I could get more rest. The noise is unnerving; I could go down to the beach for an hour. And most of all, I remind myself, the noise will end. It will not last into eternity; there will come a time when workers will leave a pristine new house next door and our roofer will finish.
Peace will once more return to Bedlam.